WASHINGTON - Lincoln County dominated the Tigers here last Friday before allowing two late scores. The 26-13 Red Devil win gives Lincoln County a 37-35-6 lead in the all-time series between the two heated rivals.
The victory marks a milestone for head coach Kevin Banks as it is his first in two tries over Washington-Wilkes. The win improves the Devil's record to 2-0. This is the season opener for the Tigers, and the first game for their new head coach.
Jamal Norman led the Devil rushing attack with 81 yards on 7 carries. Midarious Roberts carried only twice, but scored both times (5 and 55). Javon Reid completed five of six pass attempts for 94 yards. Austin Parks was the leading receiver with two catches for 48 yards.
The Tigers won the toss and took the football to open the contest. Keeping the pigskin mainly on the ground, W-W made four first downs and moved to the LC 29. The Devil Defense tightened, and a fourth down pass fell incomplete. The Devils took over at their 34.
Two running plays gained only a single yard, but a sportsmanship penalty moved the ball to midfield. Roberts went untouched from there behind good blocking. Ryan O'Neill's PAT kick put the Devils up 7-0 just over midway the operning quarter.
The two rivals, playing before a large crowd in the stadium and a live television audience, traded punts on their next possessions. The Tigers picked up two first downs, including one aided by one of the few Devil penalties of the night. The Devils halted the Tiger drive at the W-W 46, forcing a punt which Tydarius Elam returned to the LC 38.
A pass from Reid to David Byrne gained 31 yards. Another pass from Reid to Byrne would have gained 9 yards, but a holding flag backed the Devils up to the Tiger 40. Lincoln came right back with Reid passing to Parks for 28 yards to the 12. Three plays lost 8 yards against the tough Tiger defense. O'Neill booted a 37-yard field goal with 7:10 left in the half.
The Tigers started with good field position at their 35, but a huge sack stopped the possession. The Devils started at their 28 after the punt. Norman ran for a dozen yards. Three plays later Elam broke one tackle at the line and rambled for 37 yards to the W-W 15. A play later Reid passed 20 yards to Parks, who made a great catch and run to the 1. Reid sneaked through the middle for the Devils' second touchdown. The PAT gave the Devils a 17-0 lead with 2:35 left before the bands marched.
The Tigers managed one yard on three plays before kicking a short punt that rolled to a stop at their 41 with less than two minutes remaining in the half. Quay Hartfield got a good bounce on a fumble and gained 13 to the WW 28. He rushed for two more yards before Reid passed eight yards to Xavier Gartrell. Two plays lost three yards before O'Neill was perfect on a 38-yard field goal as the half ended. The Devils led 20-0.
Lincoln County took the second half kickoff and went back to work. Norman, after running for eight yards on first down, broke loose left of center for 49 yards to the W-W 10. He would have scored had it not been for a speedster in the W-W defensive backfield. Three plays later a fumble ended the threat at the two.
The Devil Defense would not let the Tigers out of their hole, and Elam returned the resulting punt 13 yards to the W-W 24. Hartfield rushed for 2 before Reid kept the pigskin for 6. On 4th-and-2, Reid rushed for the first down at the 14. Norman gained three and Jayden Robinson one before a personal foul gave the Devils a 1st-and-goal at the 5. Elam scored from there with 5:18 left in the third quarter. The PAT kick barely missed, leaving the Devils up 26-0 with less than 18 minutes to play.
The Tigers then put together a 16-play scoring drive, with almost all of the gains coming on runs. The 2-yard touchdown run came on the second play of the fourth quarter. The PAT went wide left, but the Tigers had averted the shutout, 27-6.
The Devils managed one first down on their next drive, but had to punt from midfield. The Tigers gained a single yard on their next possession, and punted. The Devils would have been in great field position in W-W territory, but a personal foul penalty moved LC to the other side of the 50. The Devils came up two yards short of a first down, and punted back to the Tigers with less than five minutes left in the contest.
With time getting short, the Tigers completed six consecutive passes. The last was 26 yards for a touchdown with 2:18 left. The PAT cut the Devils' lead to 26-13.
The Devils secured the Tigers' onside kick attempt, and Hartfield gained a first down to let the Devils run out the clock for their 26-13 victory. The win snaps a three-game Tiger win streak in The 378 War.
The Red Devils are off this coming Friday. On September 11, they will host Westside and seek revenge for the Patriots big win in Augusta last year.
Reqion 7-A leader Aquinas lost by 30 points while Warren, Hancock, and Westside had good outings in week 2.
Defending 7-A champ Aquinas was ranked as high as number 2 in Class A earlier this week, but the Irish will surely drop after a 42-12 drubbing in Augusta by Prince Avenue Christian. Reports indicate Aquinas may have lost its leading rusher early in the game. Warren County pounded Glascock County 38-8.
Hancock Central had a good showing against much larger neighbor Baldwin, but lost 12-0. GMC fell to Tattnall Square 37-7.
Westside from Augusta, Lincoln County's next opponent in two weeks, defeated Richmond Academy 27-20. First Presbyterian lost to Howard 38-17.
Thomson almost lost a two-TD lead but held on to upset Washington County 49-42 at the Brickyard.
LINCOLNTON- Lincoln County's 2015 Red Devils jumped off to a strong start as they pounded McCormick 41-6 in the season opener for both teams.
This Friday the Devils will make their biennial trek on US 378 to face the Tigers. The game will be the season opener for Washington-Wilkes, and the first game as a head coach for new Tiger boss Jacob Kelley. Coach Kelley was the Tiger offensive coordinator a few years ago before getting the call to return to replace Robby Robinson. Robinson returned to McIntosh County Academy after four W-W years.
The Lincoln County vs Washington-Wilkes rivalry continues to be one of the most-heated matchups in Georgia and the Augusta area. The Tigers have a chance to even the series if they are able to win their fourth in a row over the Devils. Kickoff is 7:30, but stands are expected to fill way before that.
Starting with two wins in 1922, Lincoln County now leads the series with McCormick 36-10. The victory was the 23rd straight for the Georgia team, after a 14-6 Chief win in 1974 when McCormick was a top-ranked South Carolina team. The last loss to McCormick in Lincolnton came in 1951.
The Red Devils were clicking on all cylinders against the Chiefs, as the offense and the defense both played very well. Head Coach Kevin Banks and his assistants had their charges well-prepared, with few penalties and no turnovers.
The Devil Defense, with Howard Ellis returning the Devils to his successful hard-hitting style of a few years ago, all but shut down McCormick's star running back. Mataeo Durant managed only 46 yards on 12 carries. His longest run of the night was a 70-yard kickoff return, but the Devils caught him before he scored. The only Chief points were setup by the return plus an offsides penalty, and then the Devils barely gave up the TD on fourth down from the 3.
On offense, Quay Hartfield and Jamal Norman led the rushing attack. Hartfield rushed 10 times for 68 yards and 2 TDs. Norman carried the pigskin 7 times for 66 yards and one score.
Sophomore Javon Reid started at quarterback and played well despite a thigh bruise. Blake Beggs took over in the third quarter and completed his first pass for a 25-yard touchdown. He would connect on two of his three pass attempts for 52 yards. Austin Parks caught both of those.
Both teams picked up first downs on their initial possessions of the game, but neither could get a sustained drive going. The Devils' field position improved with each possession, with LC taking over on the Chief 41 after a good defensive stand and short punt.
Quay Hartfield, this season sporting jersey 5 instead of 24, rushed for three yards. Jayden Robinson ran for four before Reid gained three and a first down. Hartfield then went left and stiff-armed a Chief for 15 yards, to the 16. Two plays later Reid rambled on the right side, using his blocker for a 13-yard gain to the three. He then scored from there with 1:13 left in the opening quarter of the season. Ryan O'Neill kicked the extra point for a 7-0 lead.
The Devil Defense recovered a fumble at the Chief 27 to end the next McCormick drive. Norman rushed for 15. Norman then scored from the 12 with Hartfield blocking on the right side. O'Neill's PAT put the Devils up by 14 with 11:26 left before the band marched.
The Chiefs picked up one first down before Tydarius Elam snagged a fumble at midfield. Reid passed 10 yards to David Byrne. Robinson rushed for 11 then 2 to the 26. Norman rushed for four before Hartfield scored from 22 yards out. With the kick, the Devils went up 21-0 with 5:26 left in the half.
Then came Durant's outstanding kickoff return for about 70 yards. He first went left, then reversed field with only two Red Devils between him and the endzone. They held him up down the field until help arrived and tackled the great runner at the LC 12. These Devils don't stop playing until the whistle sounds. The Devil Defense played tough, forcing 4th-and-5 at the 7 before an offsides penalty gave McCormick a first down at the 2. Three plays lost three yards against the reinvigorated Devil D before Durant barely got the ball across the goalline on fourth down with 14 seconds left in the half. A bad snap on the PAT left the home team with a 21-6 lead at the break.
After a Chief punt on their first possession of the second half, the Devils took over at the Chief 44. Parks was not able to make the catch on a pass near the goalline. Robinson rushed for 14 yards for a first down at the 25. Then Parks got another chance, as Beggs ran the same play and this time Parks snatched the ball and scored. The Devils faked the PAT effort but the pass failed. Lincoln County led 27-6 with 8:21 left in the third quarter.
The short kickoff went out-of-bounds, but the Chiefs were unable to take advantage of their best field position of the night. Three plays gained zero yards, and McCormick punted again.
Beggs and Parks connected again, this time for 27 yards and a first down at the Chief 16. Hartfield then ran straight in untouched for his second TD of the night. With O'Neill's kick the Devils led 34-6 with 4:50 left in the third.
The visitors started from their 9 after a penalty on the kickoff return, and went backwards from there. Three plays lost four yards and forced a punt.
Big Red started from the Chief 36. Norman gained 10 for a first down at the 24. After a pass barely missed, Norman rushed for 17. Elam scored from the 7 with 11:32 left in the game. The PAT took the score to 41-6. The rest of the fourth quarter was played with a running clock.
The GHSA Executive Committee approved several changes earlier today that will significantly change Peach State prep athletics for years to come.
In Class A, the opportunities to make the playoffs will improve as the number of playoff teams is increased 50%, from 16 to 24 in both public and private brackets. Ranked by power ratings, teams 9 through 16 will host teams 17 through 24 in what has been a bye week in recent years. Those winners will then travel to play teams 1 through 8.
With a working title of "The Big 44", the new largest classification will include the largest schools in the state. Most of those are from the greater Atlanta area. Adding that seventh class will reduce the number of schools in Classes AA through AAAAAA to about 60 each. Due to geography, some regions may not have four teams to send to the state playoffs. In those situations, the power rating system will be used to complete the brackets.
Another change will affect those schools that have more than a handful of students attending that live outside the county where the school sits. If 3% of their student body are from outside the school's county, they will be moved up a class. This does not affect teams in Class A or Class AAAAAA.